by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1 April 14, 2013 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(255)Thesis:The crux of "living" is the methodology to which we are committed by faith.
Introduction:In our studies of the section that begins in 5:1, we have seen that Paul's initial focus is upon what I am going to call the "static" reality of the freedom that justification brings to us: absolute freedom from "Justice". However, this "static" reality was never Paul's eventual goal. He registered his concern as early as 3:3 where he raised the issue of the letter: the exercise of legitimate faith. Galatians falls into its place in the canon of the New Testament as his teaching on "the basic methodology" of "Life". Thus, from the beginning Paul was driving to the issues of the last two chapters of the letter: how to turn the "static" reality of God's grant of a decree of righteousness into a "dynamic" reality of the experience of God's "Life" through the gift of His own Spirit as the means to this dynamic experience.
Therefore, as we turn our attention to Paul's doctrine as expressed in 5:16 and following, we want to keep in mind that with "freedom" as the foundation and "love" as the goal, we are setting out to attempt to understand how to let the Spirit of Jesus make the Life of Jesus visible through our physical bodies.
I. The Initial Issues.
A. The link backwards to 3:3 is important.
1. The issues, terms, and grammar are the same.
a. There is a connection between 5:7 and 3:3 in respect to "beginnings".
b. There is a connection between 5:16 and 3:3 in respect to the "case" issues of the word "spirit" (there is a built-in ambiguity in the form that delineates three different major case distinctions): both texts use the Locative / Instrumental / Dative form.
c. There is a connection also in respect to the idea of "bringing something to completion" (telesate compared with epiteleisthe).
d. There is a critical connection also in respect to the "sole" issue introduced in 3:2 because therein is the human element in the methodology revealed.
2. It is clear that 5:16 is where Paul was headed from the beginning and 5:26 reinforces this clarity.
B. Paul's "Now I Say" Terminology.
1. The verb is focused upon content ("doctrine").
2. The phrase shows up in three critical junctures.
a. In 3:17 Paul uses it to emphasize the immutability of a covenant.
b. In 4:1 he uses it to introduce his explanation of the function of "Law" as a teaching device.
c. In 5:16 he uses it to introduce his actual "issue" for the Galatians.
C. Paul's "Walk by Spirit" phraseology.
1. He switches from "running" (5:7) to "walking".
a. The "running" idea shows up twice in 2:2 to describe his own efforts.
b. The "walking" idea is only here in Galatians (but it corresponds exactly with Romans 8:4 when compared with Galatians 5:14).
2. He deliberately focuses upon "walking" as the method of "completing" (the issue of 3:3).
3. The case issue involved in the word "Spirit".
a. He is apparently using the Instrumental Case as the "method" of the walk.
b. But, theologically, the Locative Case with the anartharous "Spirit" is critical because it forces the issues of 5:17.
1) The composition of humanity puts body, soul, and spirit together in harmony.
2) The fall of humanity puts body, soul, and spirit in oppositional states within the same body.
3) At some point every person has to make a fundamental decision about which of the three major issues will be the "bottom line".
c. The Instrumental Case points to the "method" of the walk that was raised back in 3:2-3.
1) The "hearing of faith" means responding when the truth is made obvious to the heart.
2) The "hearing of faith" completely eliminates any/all "works" of Law.
3) The "hearing of faith" puts the Spirit in control of the agenda and persuasion so that the "hearer" is not the one who decides what needs to "change", or how the "change" is to be accomplished ("faith" is not "proactive"; it is blissfully unaware until the Spirit raises an issue with a promise).